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Studies of the Book of Mormon Paperback – August 15, 1992

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brigham Henry Roberts, born in England in 1857, was president of the LDS First Quorum of the Seventy and assistant church historian. His numerous historical (A Comprehensive History of the Church; Joseph Smith, The Prophet-Teacher; Life of John Taylor; The Missouri Persecutions; The Mormon Battalion, Its History and Achievements; Outlines of Ecclesiastical History; The Rise and Fall of Nauvoo; Succession in the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and theological works (A New Witness for God; The Mormon Doctrine of Deity: The Roberts-Van der Donckt Discussion; The Seventy’s Course in Theology; Studies of the Book of Mormon; The Truth, The Way, The Life: An Elementary Treatise on Theology) which are still considered authoritative, earned him the epithet “defender of the faith.” He died in 1933.

Brigham D. Madsen is Professor Emeritus of History and past vice president of the University of Utah, recipient of a Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award, as well as the Distinguished Service Award from the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. He is the author of Glory Hunter: A Biography of Patrick Edward Connor (Utah State Historical Society Best Military History Award), North to Montana! Jehus, Bullwhackers, and Mule Skinners on the Montana Trail (Westerners International Best Book Award), The Shoshoni Frontier and the Bear River Massacre (Westerners International Best Book Award), Studies of the Book of Mormon (John Whitmer Historical Association Best Book Award), and other volumes, including his own popular autobiography, Against the Grain: Memoirs of a Western Historian.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Western Historical Quarterly, Richard Sherlock
Here for the first . . . time a Mormon [leader] and first-rate historian is wrestling with the most sensitive subject possible for his church: to what extent is the Book of Mormon a nineteenth-century product and/or an actual record of some of the peoples of ancient Mesoamerica. . . . Roberts’s work points the way that an intellectually honest faith most go, and for that we must still read these now sixty-year-old studies, as others will do in another century.

Sociological Analysis, Gordon Shepherd
The Roberts manuscripts represent a compelling case study of the age-old tension between religious faith and rational thought. The Roberts era of Mormon history is instructive of the way in which successful religious movements eventually seek . . . to consolidate, systematize, and rationalize the inconsistencies of the founding beliefs.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Signature Books; Second Edition edition (August 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560850272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560850274
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James I. Huston on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be a requirement for anyone studying the Book of Mormon. B.H. Roberts was the first Mormon apologist, President of the First Quorum of Seventies and Mormon Church Historian. B.H. Roberts was additionally recognized as the Mormon Church's most accomplished scriptorian of his day. Apostle Talmage gave Roberts five questions that had been asked by a member. B.H. Roberts researched the questions and went to the Twelve and First Presidency and said he could not give satisfactory answers to the questions. He asked for the Brethren to pray about the questions and get the answers from God. Each of the Brethren stood, bore their testimony of the Book of Mormon and the meeting was over. Roberts was then asked to come up with the best answers he could. These answers were given to the member who originally asked the questions.

This started Roberts on the mission of proving or disproving the Book of Mormon. He reviewed the book for inconsistencies in technology, zoology and anthropology. He presents a study of the technology of steel, glass, the wheel, metal coins and other advances that were questionable. He also covered the problems with horses, elephants, oxen, cattle and other problems. He covered the linguistics and anthropological information available at the time in trying to reconcile an Israelite migration to North America. In all, his conclusions are consistent with the current scientific community. He proposed, and then rejected, what Mormons know today as the Limited Geography Theory. He then undertakes a review of Joseph Smith and the literature available to Joseph Smith and concludes that there are significant parallels to "View of the Hebrews" by Ethan Smith.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a collection of a series of writings by B.H. Roberts who died in 1933, but attained rank as an LDS General Authority before he died. B.H. Roberts was the very antithesis of a dogmatic, inflexible, religious fanatic. B.H. wrote a great deal throughout his life on the Church. It must be remembered that he wrote "The Truth, the Way, the Light" and a "Comprehensive History of the Church". Anyone who reads the book should make certain they review the introduction written by the late Sterling McMurrin. McMurrin points out that B.H. wrote many books defending the LDS faith and this collection of writings has to be viewed in the context. However, after reading "Studies of the Book of Mormon" one really has to ask what Roberts believed about the Church when he died. The answer may not be simple, but in my view its unimportant.
In one series of writings, Robert tries to scientifically answer questions such as whether horses could have been in the Americas at the time the Nephites and Jaredites (look in your Book of Mormon) were supposed to have lived here. He tries to answer whether steel swords and metallurgy could have part of the culture in these continents at these times. The answers are inconclusive, but strongly suggest "difficulties" with the Book of Mormon.
However, the most fascinating part of the book is when Roberts attempts to draw parallels between a book written a few years before the Book of Mormon was translated (View of the Hebrews) and the Book of Mormon. The parallels are interesting, and at times, startling.
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Format: Paperback
B. H. Roberts was one of the 26 general authorities of the Mormon Church from 1890 to 1933. He was appointed Church Historian and in his day was considered the most accurate and unbiased authority for early Mormon history and was regarded as a great defender of the faith. He was a thorough researcher and prolific writer. Among his many books was the seven volume "Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." I consider his "Studies of the Book of Mormon" the most reliable and interesting backgound information on the Book of Mormon.
Roberts wrote the material on his studies just a few years before his death but never published it. About 1985 his family finally released the manuscript for publication. He made an excellent study of the environment and source material available to Joseph Smith in the 1820's.
Divided into three parts the first part of "Studies of the Book of Mormon" Roberts deals with his quandry in attempting to answer five questions which were asked by a Doctor who had read the Book of Mormon given to him by a friend. These questions were of archeological and linquistic nature and when his study could not provide adequate answers he wrote 141 pages to the general authorities of the Mormon Church presenting the problem. A two day meeting was held in the Salt Lake Temple to get their input and to ask for help from the Lord but no resolution was forthcoming. Shortly thereafter Roberts was called to preside over the Eastern States Mission.
In the second section of "Studies of the Book of Mormon" Roberts gives a report of his research while traveling around the Eastern States visiting libraries looking for what was being published in the newspapers and books in the days of Joseph Smith.
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